Recap of Day Two at the 2016 Slater Wildcat Classic

Tonight’s games were much closer than I had anticipated. We only had a brief running clock in the opener and the remaining three were weren’t decided until late in the second half. No upsets tonight. Here’s how it all went down.

Glasgow (B) 64, Slater 43: The final score makes this game look closer than it actually was. Had Glasgow left its starters in the whole game, the Yellowjackets would have won by 40 points, just as they had in the previous two meetings. Glasgow nearly had all five starters reach double figures in scoring. Adam Monnig (17), Kabyl McMillan (13) and Kennedy Davis (10) reached the mark. Hayden Hackman and Bryant Hubbard each fell shy by one point. The Yellowjackets didn’t force many turnovers in this game, but they didn’t allow Slater to get many good looks at the basket either. Another dominant win for Glasgow, and don’t forget, these two teams will meet again on Monday, this time in Glasgow.

Fayette (B) 70, Pilot Grove 64: Blake Dawson had strong starts against Brunswick and Atlanta in the scoring department. It was inevitable that one of his hot starts would carry throughout the game. He had nine of Fayette’s 10 points in the first quarter and had 15 points at the half, about three points under his season average. However, the Fayette sophomore took off in the second half. He had a new career-high of 29 points by the end of the third quarter and finished with 38 points, the second-most points scored in a single game at the Slater Wildcat Classic. The thing is, Fayette needed every single one of those points to hold off Pilot Grove. After falling behind 8-0, Fayette would take the lead in the second quarter and never let it go, but a 16-point lead with 5:18 left in the game nearly slipped away. Pilot Grove closed the gap to five points in the final seconds, but Fayette did enough to hold off and secure a spot in either the third-place game or the championship game this week. Robby Robinson had 13 key points, hit a few 3-pointers when they were needed badly. Tommy Phillips also had 10 points. Brady Rentel led Pilot Grove with 20 points. Thursday’s Fayette-Sacred Heart matchup is now essentially a semifinal game, with the winner advancing to the championship game.

Marshall (G) 45, Sacred Heart 29: Marshall led the entire game, if I remember correctly, but the Lady Owls led by single digits most of the game. It wasn’t until the final four minutes that Marshall pulled away. Glasgow and Marshall will play tomorrow, which is also practically a semifinal game (even though it’s pool play…both teams are 1-0 this week). The winner will advance to the championship game. They met last year in the third-place game. Marshall won 49-43.

Santa Fe (B) 54, Jamestown 40: This was a pretty-balanced matchup, as most 4-5 games in this tournament are. Jamestown held a slight edge during the first half, but Santa Fe pulled away in the second half. The Eagles just couldn’t get shots or free throws to fall, and the Chiefs hit some key 3-pointers to stretch their lead to double digits. Ben Hinz led Santa Fe with 22 points. Two players combined to score 90 percent of Jamestown’s points. Trenton Barbour had 20 points and Garrett Wolfe had 16 points.

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Predictions for Day Two of the 2016 Slater Wildcat Classic

I made a small mistake in yesterday’s blog post. There are only 20 games this week in the Slater Wildcat Classic, not 22. I forgot to take into account that there will not be a seventh-place game in either bracket.

If I had to venture a guess, three of tonight’s four games should be blowouts. One could very well be one of the best games of the tournament. Which game am I talking about? Well, you’ll have to read more to find out.

No. 7 Slater (B) vs. No. 1 Glasgow (4:30 p.m. tip-off): These two teams were supposed to meet for the third time this season last week, but instead they’ll meet again for a fourth time on Monday. Neither outing has gone over very well for Slater. In fact, both previous meetings have been 42-point blowouts. Any chances that happens again tonight? Prediction: Glasgow 73, Slater 31.

No. 6 Pilot Grove (B) vs. No. 3 Fayette (6 p.m. tip-off): This one could be much closer than my prediction depicts, but if Fayette plays to its full potential, the Falcons should get head coach Ben Pallardy the first 10-win season of his high school coaching career. Prediction: Fayette 64, Pilot Grove 45.

No. 6 Sacred Heart (G) vs. No. 3 Marshall (7:30 p.m. tip-off): Last night was pretty brutal at times for Sacred Heart. These two teams didn’t get a chance to meet in the Marshall Tournament last month, but they’ll face off tonight. I imagine Marshall’s size and speed is comparable to Glasgow’s, so I’m going to predict a fairly similar outcome. Prediction: Marshall 61, Sacred Heart 26.

No. 5 Jamestown (B) vs. No. 4 Santa Fe (9 p.m. tip-off): This should be the game of the night. In fact, isn’t the 4-5 boys game typically one of the best non-trophy games of the week in this tournament? Jamestown will be making its debut in the Slater Wildcat Classic, and I think this should be an interesting matchup. Jamestown is 9-6 and all its losses have come against quality teams. Santa Fe is 8-7, but the Chiefs only lost to Sacred Heart by four points (48-44) last month at State Fair Community College. Seriously, this should be a fantastic game. Prediction: Santa Fe 67, Jamestown 64.

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Recap of Day One at the 2016 Slater Wildcat Classic

None of the games were close tonight, and it appears as if at least tomorrow’s first game will be a blowout as well. Trust me, games will be closer as the week moves along.

Santa Fe (G) 61, Fayette 28: Santa Fe had just too much height and speed for Fayette. It’s no wonder Santa Fe is always in the running for a Class 1 state volleyball title. I’m pretty sure I counted at least three players that looked to be 6-foot or taller for Santa Fe, maybe even more. And all of them, I believe, are juniors or younger. Kylie Limback stole the show with 22 points. Fayette’s second string looked good against Santa Fe’s next five in the fourth quarter, forcing a 10-second violation and a 5-second closely guarded violation. Haleigh Strodtman and Grace Boulden each had eight points for Fayette.

Sacred Heart (B) 70, Pilot Grove 38: This game was close for about six minutes, and then Sacred Heart just flat-out dominated. I attribute the lopsided score to Pilot Grove’s inability to secure defensive rebounds. Many times, Sacred Heart would run out in transition, miss the point-blank layup, then get the offensive rebound and score that way. If Pilot Grove boxes out well tonight, I think it would have been a 10-15 point game, and much more manageable. Still, it’s hard to win when Chase Lyles scores 26 points.

Glasgow (G) 55, Sacred Heart 24: Glasgow continues to roll with its sixth-straight win. Sacred Heart ran a triangle-and-two defense to try and contain Jaden Monnig, but it didn’t stop her. Monnig finished with game-highs of 18 points and eight rebounds. By my count, I had her scoring five baskets on putbacks and the other four on some great passes from her teammates. Tara Fuemmeler caught fire from 3-point range in the third quarter and finished with 15 points, while Devyn Yung is starting to consistently score in double figures, finishing with 10 points tonight. If those three combine to score 40 or more points in a game for Glasgow, the Lady Jackets are going to be tough to beat. Oh, and their defense was rather impressive to, forcing 10 Sacred Heart turnovers in the first quarter, holding the Lady Gremlins to just two points after eight minutes of basketball.

Pilot Gr0ve (G) 60, Slater 36: Boy, did I call this game way wrong. Pilot Grove seemingly had this game in the bag after the first four minutes. Slater was lucky to avoid the running clock in the fourth quarter. The Lady Wildcats couldn’t get shots to fall, while the Lady Tigers just attacked and attacked relentlessly tonight. I’m not sure how Slater won by eight points on Pilot Grove’s home court last week. Emily Schupp led Pilot Grove with 19 points and we’ll have a rematch of last year’s championship game in the semifinals on Wednesday.

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Predictions for Day One of the 2016 Slater Wildcat Classic

I’m getting ready to head to Slater for the evening, but before I take my trip to Saline County, it’s time to make some predictions.

All games this week will be broadcast on KMMO (either 1300 AM or 102.9 FM), but the radio station is also streaming all 22 games online at this link. It was a pretty cool setup last year and it gives you the chance to listen to the radio and watch live online from the comfort of your home.

We have four games on tap tonight, three on the girls side and just one boys game. Let’s get to picking, shall we?

No. 7 Fayette (G) vs. No. 1 Santa Fe (4:30 p.m. tip-off): Fayette won back-to-back games on Thursday and Friday, the first time the team has done so since the 2013 New Franklin Tournament to win the consolation trophy. Winning a third-consecutive game will be extremely difficult. Santa Fe is 14-1 entering the tournament and the heavy favorite to win it all again this season. If you remember, Fayette led after one quarter against Santa Fe last year after one quarter and trailed by just two points at halftime, until the Lady Chiefs went on a 22-0 run to win by 35 points. Prediction: Santa Fe 68, Fayette 31.

No. 6 Pilot Grove (B) vs. No. 2 Sacred Heart (6 p.m. tip-off): If Pilot Grove plays its best, the Tigers could be able to hang with the Gremlins tonight. If they don’t, it will be a blowout. I’ll split the difference with my prediction. Prediction: Sacred Heart 74, Pilot Grove 56.

No. 6 Sacred Heart (G) vs. No. 2 Glasgow (7:30 p.m. tip-off): I feel pretty shameful in saying this, but tonight will be the first time I’ll have seen the Glasgow girls basketball team play since the Glasgow Tournament. That being said, I’ve never seen them lose this season, so I don’t expect that to change tonight. The Lady Jackets have been playing well in the month of January. The only question is, how big of a win will they have tonight? Prediction: Glasgow 55, Sacred Heart 34.

No. 5 Slater (G) vs. No. 4 Pilot Grove (9 p.m. tip-off): These two teams met last week in Pilot Grove, and Slater won that game 45-37. In my experience, Slater is even tougher to beat during the Slater Wildcat Classic, so I like its chances of winning tonight. Prediction: Slater 48, Pilot Grove 40.

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Predictions for Day Five of the 2016 New Franklin Tournament

I’m running out of time, so today’s picks are going to be short and sweet. As per usual, here are last night’s scores.

  • New Franklin (G) 37, Tipton 33
  • Westran (B) 51, Sturgeon 30
  • Sturgeon (G) 38, Westran 35
  • New Franklin (B) 68, Fayette 60

And onto tonight’s consolation bracket picks.

No. 8 Bunceton (G) vs. No. 7 Fayette (4:30 p.m. tip-off): I honestly haven’t seen Bunceton play this week, so all I know is the Lady Dragons are 0-11 to start the season. Time for Fayette to pick up win No. 2. Prediction: Fayette 48, Bunceton 32.

No. 8 Bunceton (B) vs. No. 7 Sweet Springs (6 p.m. tip-off): It’s been a tough week on these two teams. It’s going to be even tougher on the team that goes home 0-3 this week. Prediction: Sweet Springs 54, Bunceton 37.

No. 6 Sweet Springs (G) vs. No. 5 Pilot Grove (7:30 p.m. tip-off): Pilot Grove won last month’s meeting 48-43. I can see the Lady Tigers winning by a few more points the second go-around. Prediction: Pilot Grove 54, Sweet Springs 42.

No. 6 Pilot Grove (B) vs. No. 5 Tipton (9 p.m. tip-off): This is most likely the Game of the Night, and both teams need this win badly. Pilot Grove likes to score, Tipton likes to keep it low-scoring. Let’s split the difference and call it a toss-up. Prediction: Pilot Grove 56, Tipton 54.

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Predictions for Day Four of the 2016 New Franklin Tournament

This is my 500th blog post for “On the Sidelines”, but since a few folks have been asking me about my predictions for tonight’s games, we’ll skip the cake and ice cream and go straight to it. But first, here are the scores from last night’s games at the New Franklin Tournament.

  • Pilot Grove (G) 72, Bunceton 40
  • Tipton (B) 60, Bunceton 35
  • Sweet Springs (G) 56, Fayette 50
  • Pilot Grove (B) 67, Sweet Springs 51

Okay, it’s going to be a busy night, covering all four semifinal games. Do the seeds hold true, or are we going to see some upsets?

No. 4 New Franklin (G) vs. No. 1 Tipton (4:30 p.m. tip-off): Unless New Franklin is able to make adjustments from Monday night’s win, I can see this game getting out of hand rather quickly. The Lady Bulldogs can’t afford to get into foul trouble tonight, and they’ll need to dominate inside with Madison Matney and Kacie White to have a chance to win. Prediction: Tipton 57, New Franklin 44.

No. 4 Sturgeon (B) vs. No. 1 Westran (6 p.m. tip-off): Westran hasn’t been as crisp to start the new year as it had been in December, but this game is a good chance for the Hornets to make that adjustment. I can’t remember the last time Sturgeon didn’t play for a title in this tournament, but I think that string of championship appearances will run out tonight. Prediction: Westran 71, Sturgeon 60.

No. 3 Sturgeon (G) vs. No. 2 Westran (7:30 p.m. tip-off): I can definitely see this being a close game, but Sturgeon has to play much better than it did the other night against Sweet Springs. I just think Westran is the better team right now. The way the Lady Hornets played against Fayette the other night, they may want to get the ball to Cory Burton and have her live at the free-throw line all night. She was 13-of-13 from the charity stripe on Tuesday. Prediction: Westran 58, Sturgeon 43.

No. 3 New Franklin (B) vs. No. 2 Fayette (9 p.m. tip-off): This is probably touted as the Game of the Night. These two teams met on the same floor back on Nov. 24, and Fayette overcame a 20-point first-half deficit to win 56-51. That hasn’t been the only comeback Fayette has had this season, rallying from 17 points down in the second half to beat Smithton. New Franklin has been shooting remarkably better the last two times I’ve seen the Bulldogs play, including a stomping of Slater and a shooting spree from long range on Tuesday against Pilot Grove. It’s clear to anyone that if New Franklin continues to shoot that well, the Bulldogs win tonight. Fayette always finds a way to compete in big games this season, however. I predict Fayette will be trailing New Franklin to start the fourth quarter tonight. Do the Falcons have another comeback in them? If not, I’ll have to look up the last time New Franklin appeared in the championship game of its own tournament. It’s been a while. Prediction: New Franklin 66, Fayette 61.

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Predictions for Day Three of the 2016 New Franklin Tournament

Before we get to picking tonight’s consolation semifinal games, let’s take a quick look at last night’s scores.

  • Westran (G) 65, Fayette 39
  • Fayette (B) 60, Sweet Springs 42
  • Sturgeon (G) 41, Sweet Springs 26
  • New Franklin (B) 77, Pilot Grove 39

All right, time to start making picks. Who ya got tonight?

No. 8 Bunceton (G) vs. No. 5 Pilot Grove (4:30 p.m. tip-off): Hard to believe these two teams aren’t in the same conference anymore. Bunceton has fallen hard since being a district champion a few years ago. Prediction: Pilot Grove 61, Bunceton 28.

No. 8 Bunceton (B) vs. No. 5 Tipton (6 p.m. tip-off): Both Bunceton teams are each looking for their first win of the season. It won’t come tonight, and most likely, it won’t come on Friday either. Prediction: Tipton 63, Bunceton 28.

No. 7 Fayette (G) vs. No. 6 Sweet Springs (7:30 p.m. tip-off): I feel really good about Fayette’s chances of winning a game this week. After watching the Lady Falcons last night, I feel better about their chances getting that win tonight rather than Friday. A win tonight guarantees either team at least the No. 6 seed in districts. Prediction: Fayette 41, Sweet Springs 38.

No. 7 Sweet Springs (B) vs. No. 6 Pilot Grove (9 p.m. tip-off): Don’t be fooled by last night’s 38-point loss to New Franklin. Pilot Grove was the victim of a team that shot 12-of-17 from 3-point range. I was impressed with Sweet Springs’ first-half performance against Fayette, but the Greyhounds didn’t come close to duplicating that in the second half. These two teams met on a neutral court last month and Pilot Grove won 54-48. I’ll give the Tigers a bit more cushion tonight in my picks. Prediction: Pilot Grove 63, Sweet Springs 47.

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